UPDATE: Cretul reins in abortion debate, nixes Holocaust talkby Dara Kam | April 30th, 2010
UPDATE: The House passed the abortion ultrasound amendment after a three-hour debate with a 72-46 vote.
House Speaker Larry Cretul cut short some of the more heated debate on the controversial abortion bill passed by the Florida Senate yesterday that would require all women seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound.
Cretul stepped in when Rep. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, likened abortion to the Holocaust.
“Everyone is aghast and embarrassed” about the Holocaust in which at least 5 million Jews were killed, Hays said.
“What are we going to say as a society about the killing of more than 50 million…,” he went on before Cretul cut him short.
“Members, I know this is a very sensitive issue and I really ask for your cooperation in keeping it within the bounds,” Cretul, R-Ocala, said.
Rep. Richard Steinberg spoke shortly after Hays.
“As a Jew in this House I am deeply disheartened” about the analogy, Steinberg, D-Miami Beach, said.
“Rep. Steinberg, we’re going to keep it within the bounds,” Cretul replied.
Earlier, Cretul gave Democrat Adam Fetterman equal treatment.
While others were surprised the abortion measure even came up, Fetterman said he was not.
“See there’s no bacon to bring back home. But you sure can bring the red meat.
This is a side of beef for some fundamentalist people. It is designed to coerce a woman to change her mind if not scare her away from the doctor’s office,” said Fetterman, D-Port St. Lucie.
Fetterman went on to say that some fundamentalists support the assassination of doctors is acceptable because they are such staunch abortion opponents.
Heck part of me is afraid to leave this chamber today without the protection of the sergeants…because of my beliefs,” Fetterman said.
“Rep. Fetterman, if you could temper your remarks just a little,” Cretul chastised.
The House is expected to vote on the measure (HB 1143) shortly.